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In an earlier letter, I stated that the Region Builders Initiative could easily be interpreted to require that $9 million dollars a year of El Dorado County’s yearly gas tax revenues, returned to the county by the state every year, be used to pay for Highway 50 road improvements, including interchanges, which Measure Y currently requires developers to pay for.
The Region Builders initiative language reads: “…U.S. Highway 50 capacity enhancing projects … whenever possible shall rely first on the use of state and/or federal funding for these projects, rather than county TIM fees.”
So, the net effect of this language is: (1) Our $9 million a year share of state gas tax funds shall permanently be used to make Highway 50 improvements for new development, rather than for local road maintenance, and (2) developers can’t be required to pay county road fees for Highway 50 improvements except in limited circumstances.
What’s the motive for Region Builders to spend unprecedented sums of money to place their measure on the ballot? Do they really want to control growth and require new development to pay its way? Unlikely. Or is their real motive to reduce the traffic impact fees they are currently required to pay, by shifting the financial burden to taxpayers rather than themselves? Much more likely.
We don’t know if Region Builders’ initiative language is innocent as Josh Wood asserts, or intentional as I suspect. Either way, I don’t believe Region Builders’ motive to spend so much money on a ballot measure in El Dorado County is because they want to control growth and fix local roads.